Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stanford Gaza protest

Stanford got its own piece of the worldwide intifada last week. Here's SOS' report.

The festivities began on Thursday, January 9, with a "vigil" for the victims of the conflict. The picture above shows the size of the crowd. It was actually pretty substantial. Unfortunately, the vigil was little more than a parade of anti-Israel speakers, with the Raging Grannies thrown in for good measure.

The three speakers were Professor Hilton Zimmerman, Professor Khalil Barhoum, and local reporter Eduardo Cohen. The first and last speakers were actually Jewish, but that didn't stop them from decrying the "massacre" in Gaza and, in the case of the latter, spout conspiracy theories about how the entire situation was planned years ago by Ariel Sharon. The only non-Jewish speaker, Professor Khalil Barhoum, has become somewhat of a regular at pro-Palestinian events. Professor Barhoum introduced Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Afif Safiyeh when he spoke at Stanford last year, and was also the keynote speaker at an anti-Israel film screening at Foothill Community College last spring. He is pictured below standing with Fadi Quran, president of Students Confronting Apartheid by Israel (SCAI).

The following day was the actual protest against what is going on in Gaza. A fair number of protesters and a significant amount of counter-protesters showed up and...mostly stood around doing nothing. First, though, the two sides came together and shook hands, at the request of Fadi Quran, president of Students Confronting Apartheid by Israel. A video of this is included below. If only solving problems were really that easy...

After that, there were chants from both sides for several minutes, and scattered heated arguments, but nothing too crazy.

I thought it was ironic that the pro-Palestinian side was standing in front of the blood donation truck.

Pro-Israel demonstrators walk past the line of Palestine supporters.

Better view of the pro-Palestinian side's signs.

Leaders of the Stanford Israel Alliance being interviewed by local media.

The pro-Israel side.

Take a look at the Stanford Daily's article on the protest.
Check out Palo Alto Online's coverage (with video).
Check the Stanford Review Web site the week of January 25 for their article about the events.

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